Punk's Not Dead | Chicago Reader

Punk's Not Dead

Susan Dynner begins her three-decade history of punk rock with an interview clip of Fugazi's Ian MacKaye arguing that punk can't be defined, therefore can't possibly be pronounced dead; unfortunately that means it can't really be assessed either, which quickly becomes the Achilles' heel of this otherwise engaged and far-reaching documentary. A 98-minute hailstorm of performance clips and punchy commentary, the movie surveys about 140 musicians but touches only belatedly on the political and social ideals that inform punk, focusing instead on the economics of underground music that make it a sustainable career for both kids (the Diffs, the Godawfuls, Narcoleptic Youth) and aging pioneers (X, the Damned, the Buzzcocks, the Adicts, the U.K. Subs, Stiff Little Fingers).

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